Texas McAllen Mission Attn: Elder Brett Mecham 200 West La Vista Ave. McAllen, TX 78501
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
What a wonderful week. Thank you all for the packages/letters/DearElders! It sure makes this email experience much much easier. I was able to read everyone's emails over and over and cherish every single word. Before, I could only skim over the emails because I needed time to respond. DearElder is amazing. Do you know if it works for when I am in Mexico too? I hope so.
So it honestly feels like I was just barely writing a letter to ya'll. I can't believe that it's been a week already. Yet, at the same time, I feel like I've done so much since I last gave you an update. Because I forgot what I've said to everyone in separate letters, I might be repeating a bit, so bear with me.
First off, Thanksgiving was amazing. We had our Thanksgiving dinner at noon and it was awesome. It was a packed house though! The line was going out the door. It was fun because our entire district sat together, as usual, and after eating some delicious turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and green beans, we all went around in a circle and said what we were thankful for. And just for the record, my district is AMAZING. I really can't describe how awesome each person is. Just last night, we were all hanging out in our room and we were all saying how lucky we were that our district is as awesome as it is. Every single person contributes to the group in their own special way. If one person wasn't there, it would feel empty. Last week, Elder Assante and Elder Stoddard left for the Peru MTC and it's been really weird without them. They were such awesome elders. Did I mention the advice that Elder Stoddard gave to me? It's probably the best advice I've ever gotten. I wasn't feeling too good last week (headaches and runny nose) and he asked me how I was doing and I was like, "Uh, my head kinda hurts and I'm sorta dizzy." And he looked at me for a moment and then said distinctively, "Well, just stop it." It was awesome. He was totally right. I just had to stop it. I literally started feeling better after he said that. Don't get me wrong though, Elder Stoddard is such a great and funny guy, and that's totally his humor. He always has the straightest face, so it's sometimes difficult to know when he's joking or being serious. So he told me he was kidding but I told him that it was still the best advice ever. Man, I'm going to miss him. Elder Assante too. He was pretty serious the first week he was here but he totally opened up once he got used to all of our weirdness, and he was such a goofball too. He always told the funniest, and sometime embarrassing, stories. It was great.
I wish I had time to talk about everyone in my district, but as always, there is that red, pestering, blinking timer in the upper right hand corner of the screen telling me how much time I have left. I have 16:21 left. I must continue...
There was no TRC this week because of the Holiday, so instead, we taught a lesson to a different district. We are doing that more and more now and it is totally awesome. It is really making us more comfortable with teaching the lessons. We started off just reading the sentences we had prepared in our lesson plans but now we can just have the title of the different principles in each lesson and just use that to know what to teach. Oh, and Hermano Painter (one of our teachers) had this brilliant idea of teaching progressive investigators. Let me explain.
Each of us thought of one person that we know that we want to act as, and pretend that they are investigators. (I chose Ivan from school) Then, we have the opportunity to teach them. For example, my companion and I both will act as our investigators while two other missionaries will teach us. Then we switch, and we are the missionaries and they are the actors. It is AWESOME, because we are able to see how our investigators are progressing and what kind of things we need to do better. For example, we taught our second lesson yesterday to Jess and Karen (those are the names of the people Elder Miller and Elder Froelich are representing) and we asked how their Book of Mormon reading was going, and it turns out we forgot to give them copies of the Book of Mormon! Ahh. We felt pretty dumb. And in the first lesson, we forgot to ask them their names! We just started talking about their interests/hobbies/work/school and then got straight into the lesson! So even though we made these brainless mistakes, I feel like they are helping us to know what we need to improve on. Also, this last lesson, we were going to teach about the Plan of Salvation but we realized they still had a lot of questions about the last lesson and so we spent the 30 minutes answering their questions and talking more about the Book of Mormon. We didn't even follow our original plan at all. It was cool because it was really all on the spot, just like it's going to be in Mexico. Hermano Painter is really proud of his idea to do this progressive investigator thing and we all love it too. We are always looking forward to doing them.
I'm not feeling sick anymore so that's good. I always feel totally refreshed and ready for the day when I wake up. The food is still good. Gym is awesome. I play volleyball every single day. I'm obsessed. I wish I could play some soccer, but oh well. I bet I'll have a chance in Mexico. Elder Holland spoke on Thanksgiving for the Devotional and he did such a wonderful job. I love hearing from the Apostles. Today will probably be an Elder from the Seventy, but I'll still cross my fingers.
I have barely over a minute left. I must hurry!
Anyway, thanks again for the letters! I love hearing updates. Just know that I am doing tremendous here, and I am praying for all of you.